Thursday, September 3, 2009

PRESS RELEASE: Hydraulic Hybrid Systems and Equipment Maintenance Innovators Announce Partnership

Hydraulic Hybrid Systems and Equipment Maintenance Innovators Announce Partnership

Two Colorado companies will manufacture and distribute hydraulic hybrid systems for fleet vehicles

Loveland, Colorado (September 3, 2009) — Hydraulic Hybrid Systems, LLC (HHS), a subsidiary of Lightning Hybrids Inc., today announced a partnership with Equipment Maintenance Innovators (EMI-Global) to distribute its hydraulic hybrid retrofit systems.

This partnership brings together two Colorado companies to manufacture and distribute fuel-efficient hydraulic hybrid technology for light and medium duty fleet vehicles. The hydraulic hybrid systems are designed to save fleets millions of dollars a year in fuel costs by providing fuel mileage increases of over forty percent and greatly reducing greenhouse gas emissions compared to a vehicle’s fuel mileage prior to the retrofit.

“Hydraulic hybrids have been around for a while but, there has been no reason until now to explore these kinds of technologies,” stated Richard LeFrancois, founder and president of EMI-Global. “Now is the time to move forward with hydraulics because of the push to cut emissions and dependence on foreign oil. Batteries just cannot address issues for fleets at the scale that we need.”

Dan Johnson, CEO of HHS, said “This partnership with EMI-Global closes a gap we had in terms of distribution and we’re excited about the potential this partnership brings. EMI is known for their expertise in the fleet market and already we are seeing doors open to the partners that EMI brings to the table.”

One of those partners, Denver International Airport recently provided the first truck to be retrofitted with the hydraulic hybrid system, a Chevrolet HD 2500 truck fueled by compressed natural gas. The hybrid system is currently being installed and tested at HHS’s shop in downtown Loveland, Colorado and the truck prototype will be put back into runway service in early October 2009.

In late 2008 Loveland-based Lightning Hybrids began engineering a biodiesel hydraulic hybrid vehicle that combined a small biodiesel engine with a 150 horsepower hydraulic pump on a lightweight sports sedan. The first prototype was displayed at the Denver Auto Show in April 2009. At that show questions arose from a number of fleet managers about the prospect of applying the hydraulic hybrid as a retrofit to existing fleet vehicles.

“We explored the opportunity and found a need for fuel and emissions savings in the light-duty fleet market,” said Johnson. “A hydraulic hybrid retrofit system is an excellent answer in situations where the light duty fleet vehicle does a lot of start and stop driving, such as city and state fleet vehicles, vocational and contractor trucks and vans, mining and oil field vehicles, and school buses.”

Hydraulic hybrid systems are already available from several manufacturers for new heavy-duty trucks (delivery trucks and refuse trucks) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has developed and tested hydraulic hybrid vehicles in the past.

In late April 2009 the engineering team started the design and implementation of a hydraulic hybrid system that could be applied to these fleet vehicles. Lightning Hybrids established Hydraulic Hybrid Systems, LLC in July 2009 to manage the manufacturing and distribution of the system.

HHS also currently has a 2008 Chevy Silverado HD 2500 in the shop that will serve as a demonstration vehicle. The truck is stripped down almost to a bare chassis and has a plexiglass floorboard to show the system as it works. Other vehicle platforms will be prototyped in the near future to meet the needs of current fleets. The system will be manufactured in Loveland starting in 2010, creating dozens of new jobs in this small Northern Colorado town. After manufacture, the systems will be installed and maintained by mechanics trained by HHS.

So far test data on the system shows that adding the system to a vehicle:
- Does not affect the existing safety rating of the vehicle, in fact it improves braking safety due to the back-up braking system and increased acceleration performance
- Improves the reliability of the vehicle because it adds another power source
- Increases fuel efficiency up to 40% for general non-highway uses
- Does not affect the emissions systems of the vehicle
- Emissions reduction of 40% of carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas

HHS’s parallel hydraulic hybrid system is similar to many of the electric hybrid vehicles on the market today wherein a conventional internal combustion engine can drive the vehicle by itself or be assisted by another power system which can be mechanically coupled or decoupled from the main conventional driveline. In the parallel hydraulic system a hydraulic motor/pump acts in place of the electric motor in an electric hybrid, and a hydraulic accumulator tank pressurized to 5,000 psi acts in place of the batteries. Compared to an electric hybrid system, hydraulic hybrid systems are much safer and less expensive to maintain.


About Hydraulic Hybrid Systems, LLC
Serious Fuel Savings > Heavy Duty Acceleration > Efficient Brake Regeneration > Safe Carbon Reduction

A subsidiary of Lightning Hybrids, Hydraulic Hybrid Systems (HHS) is a truck equipment manufacturing company headquartered in Loveland, Colorado. The company has designed a hydraulic hybrid system that can be applied to fleet vehicles and will achieve over 40 percent reduction in fuel consumption. The first platform, for Chevrolet 2500/3500 light duty trucks of any fuel source, is available now and other vehicles will be added and available through distributors later in 2009. The average price of the system for light duty trucks is $12,900.

For more information about HHS, please visit

About Equipment Maintenance Innovators
…Technology Integration for the World of Equipment.

Founded in 2000, Equipment Maintenance Innovators (EMI-Global) is a technology integration company headquartered in Littleton, Colorado serving the international construction, trucking, oil field, mining, waste, utility and telecommunication markets. The company flagship product, MOBILE-SCADA® is comprised of a suite of industry leading technology applications designed for improving machine operating efficiencies. MOBILE-SCADA® applications consist of Machine Control Technologies, Hybrid Propulsion Technologies, Fuel Management Technology, Power Management Technology, Load Management Technology and Asset Management Technology. EMI-Global founder and president, Richard LeFrancois, has thirty years experience in the truck and construction equipment industry; he has been published frequently in Fleet Maintenance magazine’s “Emerging Technology” column and has been frequently cited as a “industry expert” in ENR magazine, a publication of McGraw-Hill. LeFrancois regards the Lightning Hybrids/Hydraulic Hybrid System technology as an excellent fit for the EMI-GLOBAL business model, its customers and a technology that will be adopted industry wide in the proper application.

For more information about EMI-Global, please visit

About Lightning Hybrids Inc.
Go fast, go far, go green. No compromise.

Founded in 2008, Lightning Hybrids Inc. is an automotive research and manufacturing company headquartered in Loveland, Colorado. The company has designed a line of 100 MPG biodiesel-hydraulic hybrid vehicles. The cars, with sports sedan performance (0-60 in 5.9 seconds) and visual appeal, are expected to sell for $39,000-$59,000. Prototype manufacturing began in January 2009. Two Lightning Hybrids prototypes will exhibit in the 2010 Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize race, for clean, production-capable vehicles that exceed 100 MPGe. Additionally the company has created a hydraulic hybrid system that can be applied to fleet vehicles to achieve over 40 percent reduction in fuel consumption. This technology is available to fleet vehicles through Lightning Hybrids’ subsidiary, Hydraulic Hybrid Systems, LLC (HHS).

For more information about Lightning Hybrids, please visit


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